CAMERAS will be installed at the electricity sub-stations in Pietermaritzburg to prevent scrap metal thieves from further vandalising the installations.
The initiative, spearheaded initially by the Business Fighting Crime organisation last year, has been approved by the city council.
This was according to Business Fighting Crime (BFC) chairperson Zinhle Zokhela, who addressed the annual general meeting of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) on Thursday evening.
The electricity crisis was a big topic at theannual meeting. Pietermaritzburg businesses have been losing millions of rands in additional expenses and lost trade due to load shedding.
PCB president Leo Quayle saidin his address at the meeting that electricity and water supply disruptions continue to cost money and cause “immense frustration” to citybusinesses. The PCB has 777 members.
“To his credit, the municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi and his team have been very responsive to requests for assistance … in respect of outages.”
The BFC said non-ferrous metal theft remains a big issueproblem in the city and an SMS system to scrap dealers has begun to make a difference.
There are already 70 surveillance cameras operating in the city centre. BFC has also proposed to install cameras at Harry Gwala Stadium and the Alexandra Park.
Quayle said one of the highlights for the chamber this year has been a project to mitigate the effects of load shedding.
The project, briefly, entails getting businesses to voluntarily cut their electricity consumption by up to 10-15% ahead of a load-shedding event, thereby eliminating the need for load shedding.
“We’ll shortly run a second trial voluntary reduction exercise, which, if as successful as the first run, will lead the way for a full voluntary reduction strategy which would, we believe, make stages 1 and stages 2 of load shedding a thing of the past,” said Quayle
Source : News 24